Pontiac Montana Electrical Issues



  • losmoranslosmorans Member Posts: 1
    I doubt anyone is surprised by the title. :) Actually, my Montana has been incredible trouble free over the past nine years/70K miles. Yesterday the turn signals and backup light (driver's side) started acting up. The driver's side back up light is working but a lot dimmer than the passenger side. When I put the vehicle in reverse both green arrow turn signal indicators come one. The turn signals and emergency flashers work but the left turn signal hyper-flashes if I press the brake when it is engaged. I have replaced every brake, turn, backup, and license plate lamp/bulb in the front and rear. There is no visible damage to the wires/connectors. In addition, and perhaps coincidently, the ABS and TCS lights started coming on randomly on the same day. They clear with an engine restart. I checked the fluid levels and all ok. Any suggestions on either of these problems other than selling it?

    Thanks - Dave
  • rogerhuntrogerhunt Member Posts: 3
    They front wipers on my Montana 2001 are currently parked in the vertcial position, been this way for over a week. Is this a do it yourself fix - anyone fixed this problem have advice - as it seems common ?

    Edit : I did another site search - and it looks like I may have to replace a relay board... will see if my mechanic will do this for me.
  • jhirneisenjhirneisen Member Posts: 64
    No surprise at all! Common problem which has been discussed several times on this site.
    Basically.....tail light(s) plugs (Pig Tails) were sub-standard and cannot stand the heat of the bulbs. Pull out hear tail light fixtures, remove bulbs from recepticals and check for melting plastic, usually between the black wire (hot wire) and one or more colored wires. If so, cut out old Pig Tail, get a replacement Pig Tail, soder it in (I think about 6 wires), and use electrical shrink wrap around sodered joint, install new bulbs using Di-electric grease in the socket. Test before reinstalling light fixture.
  • jhirneisenjhirneisen Member Posts: 64
    I forgot to mention.......................the plug short can cause electrical feedback...might show up as turn signal lights, ABS, Air-bag, and TCS errors!
  • finnecjfinnecj Member Posts: 1
    Many thanks to Jack. I was having phantom electrical problems with my 2000 Montana and finally the rear stop lights quit working all together. Googling the problem led me to this forum and with your advice, I solved the problems by replacing the pigtails and the circuit boards. A little pricey on parts but the labor wasn't difficult and now the turn signals and stop lights work great. Thanks again.
  • baileyjmbaileyjm Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2000 Montana and had the head gaskets replaced. Since I got it back, once I drive it for a while, it starts to lose power and not want to shift. I noticed all the tranny problems that had been posted and replaced it, but that's not the answer. Also replaced all coil, ignition module, plugs, wires, TP sensor, and computer. Any input or advice will greatly be appreciated.
  • talus1talus1 Member Posts: 1
    Any help or suggestions would be appreciated. I have intermitent issues with electrical. There are times when I start my car that none of the dashboard works or the radio does not work. The Service Engine Soon light will come on and when I take it to the repair shop they cannot find anything wrong. There have been times when I drive down the road that the lights, dashboard and headlight, will fade in and out as if someone is controlling a dimmer switch. Even the dealer ships when they do a diagnostic cannot find what is wrong. However they are willing to trouble shoot the problem with no guarantee for a fix that could cost me several hundred dollars, not to mention they want my car for 7-10 days. If anyone has had this problem, the solution you arrived at would be greatly appreciated.
  • jhirneisenjhirneisen Member Posts: 64
    I would agree.....maybe a wiring harness problem.....a good chance it's in the rear tail-light clusters.....black wire (hot) shorting out with other wires. Pull the fixtures and smell the sockets!
    Jack in Colorado
  • jhirneisenjhirneisen Member Posts: 64

    For all of you who have had problems with DEX COOL (including me) in Pontiac Montana engines (and the other 2 GM sister mini-vans, and several other GM cars and trucks…Buick, Chevy, Olds, Pontiac), there is a proposed CLASS ACTION SETTLEMENT. GM does not admit any problems, but it looks like they will have to reimburse effected owners.
    See this web-site:

    Jack ....in Colorado
  • akashmerakashmer Member Posts: 12
    Yep thanks I filed
  • anamishguyanamishguy Member Posts: 1
    Has anyone found out the problem with the fuel gauge floating? Thanks.
  • mactoekneemactoeknee Member Posts: 1
    I am looking for the same - our 2000's fuel gauge just started showing half-->full range when it's really the empty-->half range. Arg... This forum was the closest I found to an answer so far.
  • jhirneisenjhirneisen Member Posts: 64
    It may also be a faulty gas gauge sending unit which is in the gas tank. GM had problems with that part.
  • marie55marie55 Member Posts: 1
    I have the same problem. It is not always when I hit the breaks either. Last night, for no reason, it blew twice. I need to know how to fix this problem!
  • brm5114brm5114 Member Posts: 6
    You are correct, the motor uses the two wires in a reverse polarity for up & down.
    Your problem lies with one of the two window switches. Most likely, the drivers side.
    I have had to replace the switch twice. Approx: $80
    The switch alternates the 12v and ground signals to the passenger switch, then the passenger switch alternates the signals to the motor.
    I had to get electrical drawings to figure the wiring out.
  • brm5114brm5114 Member Posts: 6
    Under your hood, on top of the wiper motor, inside of an enclosure is a circuit board that controls all of the wiper motor speed & delay functions.
    The enclosure gasket fails & moisture gets in and contaminates the board.
    Corrosion between the cicuits causes all kinds of wiper symptoms.
    I removed the enclosure cover & circuit board, flushed both sides with a mixture of baking soda, scraped any noticable corrosion away then rinsed the board well with isopropal alcohol. That fixed it!
  • brm5114brm5114 Member Posts: 6
    See posting on Sept 13th, 2008
  • brm5114brm5114 Member Posts: 6
    Rear taillights, Turn signals, trailer lights, air shock compressor control, rear power outlet, Fuel tank level & fuel pump issues.
    On my 1998 Pontiac Montana Transport I found that they ran the electrical harness from the drivers side rear interior panel (near the rear A/C unit), down into the steel frame support beams. They are hollow and when your vehicle develops leaks near the rear hatch, water collects inside the beams and never leaves. The harness ground and +12v wires have soldered wire junctions that are located inside the beams and the connections begin to rot away due to the collected water.
    Soon all forms of electrical problems develop because devices are no longer getting +12v or ground from the battery. I had to pull the harness out of the beam and rewire the +12v & ground connections.
  • akashmerakashmer Member Posts: 12
    Great I will have to do this.

    One other thing you can do to make sure this doesn't happen again. is spray the board after cleaning with clear acrylic paint. This will seal the board from the elements. This is a good thing fro all other componets you have in you car. BCM, door locks, ECM everything.
  • matts484matts484 Member Posts: 1
    New to this forum and I feel relief that I am not alone! I have a 2004 Montana with 210,000 kms and all has been good until recently. Started with the dreaded window switch on passenger side. And now its the temperature guage that does its own thing and horn that doesn't work when temperature guage acting up! On top of this the right headlight bulb, low beam only won't work now that it was replaced 5 days ago! Is it possible this is all related????
  • jhirneisenjhirneisen Member Posts: 64
    I suspect your problem is an electrical short somewhere, causing feedbacks...common on this vehicle.
    My new Montana problem this week is a rear windshield wiper that starts and stops, clicks, moans and sputters. Perhaps another electrical short? The NTSB web-site lists this as a known problem....caused by electrical shorts.
    Has anyone else had this problem?
  • diablo8413diablo8413 Member Posts: 1
    i have a 2000 montana and one day it seemed to have a hard time tryin to shift to 2nd gear after 2nd it was fine i would just have to let off the gass and let it up shift. but now i went out and it wont even come out of 1st someone told me the tranny was shot but i dont think that could be it never slipped or anything then someone told me its a computer prob can anyone help please before i go and blow 2500 on a new tranny i dont need. :mad:
  • jhirneisenjhirneisen Member Posts: 64
    I had a very similar problem. It turned out to be a bad fuel injector! The computer was confused and refused to shift the transmission. Sounds wierd doesn't it?
    Nothing surprises me about this vehicle...
  • paulhookpaulhook Member Posts: 1
    Hi I just bought a 1999 Montana that had the head gaskets replaced with the same problem. Did you find out what the solution was? Any help or advice will greatly be appreciated.
  • jhirneisenjhirneisen Member Posts: 64
    This has been discussed several times on this site............that year Montana, as well as lots of other GM vehicles and model years, had silicone gaskets that were deteriated by GM DEXCOOL coolant. The gaskets were replaced and the DEXCOOL was reformulated. GM was sued, and settled a class action suit.
  • revbillrevbill Member Posts: 1
    I have a 2005 Montana. The other day we realized that the radio was acting funny and would not let us turn it off or change the volume. Now we have discovered that the clock / radio display remains on even when the van has been shut off and the key removed and locked up. We tried pulling the fuse to reset it, but it is still happening. Any suggestions.
  • jhirneisenjhirneisen Member Posts: 64
    There is a chance it might be related to the much discussed electrical short in the tail lights, stop lights or rear turns signals...........the pig tail (socket) is overheating and starts to melt causing a short of the black power wire. Caused by the use of substandard plastic in the pig tail. Another common problem with this vehicle which GM refuses to acknowledge.
  • auto123auto123 Member Posts: 1
    I just got my 2003 Pontiac Montana back from the transmission shop -- major work, not sure if it's 100% -- but that's another post. Since it was all pulled apart, a number of electrical things are not working: the automatic door lock, the power sliding doors and the parking aid are all non-functioning. The first time a tried reprogramming the locks I was successful at entering programming mode. The chimes indicated that the door locks were set at Mode 3; however they were not functioning that way and, when I tried to set at Mode 4, nothing happened. Now, I am unable to even enter programming mode. The manual indicates you're supposed to hear 2-4 chimes when you enter the programming mode; I'm getting 5 chimes. Any thoughts? Thanks, in advance.
  • cdyoungcdyoung Member Posts: 9
    I live in the Netherlands and my good friend with a recent Montana also is having major problems with first the temperature guage going bad and then the fuel and speedometer going bad. Please make a post to this site is the dash cluster fixes the problem and the approximate cost. I have read several posts of eltrical shortages in the taillights and will check that out immediately.

    David :mad:
  • rstonehouserstonehouse Member Posts: 1
    Hi Folks. I just bought a 1998 Trans Sport Montana with 125K. The Engine "seems" to OK??? However I am concerned with the Dexcool problem with the Head Gaskets. After 125K, the gaskets may or may not have already been replaced. Is there a failsafe way to check to see if I may be facing a gasket failuer in the near future??? The problem I have already encountered is with the auto lock system. In short. it doesn't work!!!! LOL The auto sliding side doors do not funtion and the rear gate can not be opened even with the key!!! I oliterrally just bought the car today (01/27/09). I have numerous switches and have ppushed many off and on several time to see what they do. Perhaps I disabled the auto Door Locks??? The side doors seem to "Rattle" a lot on rough roads, and the rear end seems like it could use new shocks??? IN any case, I think I will be needing the expertise and experience of everyone on this site to help my diagnose and fix what seems to me a multitude of mechanical problems. My primary concern at this point is to determined the condition of my head and manifold gaskets!!! Any and all infowill be greartly appreciated!!!
  • Cruz70Cruz70 Member Posts: 1
    My husband recently purchased a used 1999 Pontiac Montana,The van runs great except for when purchased the pass key light and the ABS light is on, He was told all he had to do was replace a sensor to fix those two things but now it seems after putting the van in reverse trying to back up, when the steering wheel is turned to left or right the van shuts off? What could cause such a thing? I'm not mechanically inclined and my mechanic has never heard of this issue. Would these two issues be connected?R.Cruz
  • santana12santana12 Member Posts: 1
    my 2002 montana wont start. wont click nothing. it has a new battery and starter. any ideas?
  • kenniekennie Member Posts: 38
    Well, could be a number of things. I'm no expert but in the past, if you steering wheel is locked then your van won't start. It locks when the key is removed. If you put the key in, turn it just enough that the steering wheel is movable in both directions - you should be able to turn it, although hard, it will turn both ways. Then start the vehicle - sometimes when you turn the key the steering is pushed in one direection too far and the computer 'thinks' that someone is trying to steel the van. Another thing is that your battery terminals are dirty - be carefully about disconnecting battery if your radio is the kind that locks if the power is removed you may need to take your radio out and prove to a dealership that it needs resitting (pain in [non-permissible content removed] - this is not the case fro the 2000 montana). Another reason is that somone put a key in the ignition that is not coded to the vehicle and the computer shuts everything down - i'm told only for 10 to 15 minutes then your keys will work again. Well this is not the case for me... I had to reset my computer (either that or the steeing wheel was too far over) by turning the ignition to on postion (not starting it) and then within 5 seconds pushing the accelorator to the floor and up 3 times in a row (within 5 seconds).... giver a try. Cheers. Kennie
  • kenniekennie Member Posts: 38
    If this saved you some bucks and time think about helping me raise a few bucks for the MS Society that I annually do pledge drives for !
    Cheers, Kennie
  • ptrent2ptrent2 Member Posts: 4
    I have been having an issue with my turn signals coming on barely then after a while they go out. The rear amber bulb stays on all the time til it goes out or corrects itself. Now that my turn signals are working my dash lights have gone out but the headlights stay on all the ime now. And when i get out of the van the chime is going off when everything is off. What's up any ideas on what may be the problem with this van. Any ideas are greatly appreciated.
  • jhirneisenjhirneisen Member Posts: 64
    Sounds like it might be the common problem on this vehicle.......an electrical short in the rear tail light socket (pigtail). It causes various electrical feedback problems throughout the vehicle. See earlier posts on this web-site....diagnosis....repair, etc..
  • jimjam3jimjam3 Member Posts: 1
    I cannot start my 1998 Montana. The motor rotates, but the pump does not spool up
    (no current going to pump) no spark on the spark plugs and when I connect my OBD2
    scanner to check on any codes I get a "Link Error" message on my scanner.
    I checked the pump by jumping a positive wire to it and it'll work.
    I have a new spare computer and installed it only to get the same results.
    I have never gotten the "LINK ERROR" until now and I would like to know how can I fix it. Could it be a bad wire? Bad ground?
    I need to try to fix it and would appreciate any advice and/or assistance
  • labrat68labrat68 Member Posts: 4
    Hello, My name is Patrick Arnold is there any way that you could send me the wiring diagrahm for the montana switches please!!!!!!!!

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  • jhirneisenjhirneisen Member Posts: 64
    Sorry, but I deleted all that stuff when I sold the Montana 3 months ago.
  • zclarkezclarke Member Posts: 4

    I have a 2004 Pontiac Montana and am having serious problems and wondering if someone can help....I had a mechanic trace all the wiring harness and has not found the source of the problems. First thing to happen was the passenger power window stopped working (worked intermitt, now stopped completely), then the chime (as if you had key left in the ignition) would come on even when there was no key in the iginition but when you started the van it would go away so I was not too worried about it.... Well for the last week, the interior lights will stay on unless I use the override switch, none of the power windows or locks are working, when you turn on the turn signals the power locks start clicking to the beat of the turn signals and the key chime is constantly on....it will not go off even though all doors are closed and key is out of the ignition.....Thanks for your help

  • kenniekennie Member Posts: 38
    I have heard of electrical problems before. I have read in post either here or on other sites that sometimes these problems are lead back to the tail light harnesses (short) - but I would not be able to find those posts, it would take some time. Do some searches and see what you can find... good luck. Kennie
  • zclarkezclarke Member Posts: 4
    My mechanic is after checking the complete wiring harness as well as the tail light assembly and still nothing - wondering now if maybe it is something to do with the computer????any suggestions??
  • kenniekennie Member Posts: 38
    My father's vehicle was doing some really strange things a couple weeks ago... 2007 GM... turned out to be his ignition was shorting and causing a wrath of dash lights, no auto locks and unable to start the vehicle now and again. Hope I didn't lead you on a wild goose chase regarding the rear tail lights... that is something that many were mentioning as a cause of many electrical problems. Based on your description it is a short somewhere... curious if you took it to the dealership.. they have many more tools/experience to diagnose components - these are types of problems that are likely very memorable when troubleshooting... what I don't like is the price tag of $125 and hour. Good luck, sorry I can't help further.
  • zclarkezclarke Member Posts: 4
    Hi Kennie,

    Thanks for all your help... the mechanic is going to check the wires from the computer today and if that fails I am going to bring her into the pontiac dealership and see if hooking it up to the scanner can show anything.....It could very well be the ignition because thats what the problem started with (the passenger window) and then the key chime.... I will let you know what they find so hopefully if anyone else has the same problem in the future they know what to do....on a positive note I know there is nothing wrong with the wiring harness...lol... ONce again, thanks again for your help......

  • kenniekennie Member Posts: 38
    I'm no automechanic but a few extra grey matter cells sometimes helps... good luck !
  • ck9showck9show Member Posts: 1
    New solution to Pontiac Montana intermittent dash, indicators, door locks and driveability.

    I had the exact same symptoms as everyone else with what looked like a wiring problem. Speedo and Tach erratic, shifting problems, no engine power, driver information warnings. Checked out the Tail Light wiring...All like brand new!

    Problem turned out to be a bad regulator in the alternator. Instead of NOT charging, the system was driving battery voltage past 21 volts causing systems to shut down to to over voltage. Easy check for this is to monitor the battery voltage while revving up the engine. Voltage should NOT exceed 16 volts. Mine was 19 volts at idle and went up from there with engine RPM. Replaced alternator and all systems now work perfectly! Don't get yourselves off on a wild goose chase!

    Just an FYI...

  • goody91goody91 Member Posts: 1
    I see from your post that you've had power window problems. Both front windows on our 99 Montana no longer operate. The dealer quoted us over $300/window to have the motor replaced--that's w/o even looking into it. How did you repair yours? I see that you can buy window motors on A1 Auto.com. What would you recommend. Is it necessarily the motor?
    Thanks for your help!
  • jhirneisenjhirneisen Member Posts: 64
    Our local Pontiac dealer did not want to replace just the motor...they wanted to replace the entire "plug", which is the entire panel, power window unit, power mirror unit, power locks, etc..... for $1250.!!! So I replaced the motor myself for $18.50 with a new motor from Auto Zone which has a lifetime guarantee. It's a little difficult to replace. Six months later I had the power window switch fail...the dealer said the same thing. I replaced it myself for about $19..
    If you take it apart yourself, do some electrical testing to see if it's the motor or the switch.
    Good luck.
  • zclarkezclarke Member Posts: 4

    My problems are all intermittent - seems that everything is working better than ever now for the last 3 weeks or so... tested the battery but all seems to be fine..the only thing that won;t work is the power window on the passenger side and that I am not too worried about... everything else seemed to start working after I noticed that the rear tail light had burnt out and I removed the bulb and then things started working again - so I have yet to replace the bulb,,,lol...afraid that it will stop working again.. its a wait and see process - gonna wait until everything decides to stop working again and then I am gonna test the battery again because someone mentioned that maybe its a bad regulator in the alternator... as for now I am gonna keep my fingers crossed that everything keeps working.
  • edmond8edmond8 Member Posts: 1
    I'm on my third battery in 3 months....Sears Die-hards, usually very good batteries. They will not hold a charge over night and I have to jump it off every morning. A guy who replaced my windshield this morning said he had the same car, it's a ground wire problem? I can't seem to find any loose wires, suggestions? 2002 Montana, thanks for any advice.
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